Facts, not Fantasy

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More vaccination news, some good, some not so good

I have a couple of news items from Dr. Plait's blog today. One is a collection of vaccine news, but another is a story that should hit home to people.

More vaccination news, some good, some not so good

Some vaccine news I missed in the past few days…

1) A pertussis outbreak in California has already killed two infants. This event resonates with what happened in Australia a year ago; vaccination rates are low, and the victims are too young to be vaccinated themselves. With herd immunities compromised, the littlest and most defenseless reap the effects. This is not necessarily caused by the antivaxxers, but it’s worth noting.

2) There is apparently a small outbreak of polio in Tajikistan. Vaccinations are critical, but so is sanitation.

3) PBS airs a documentary called "The Vaccine Wars" tonight. It’s about what you think it’s about. Check your local listings.

4) H1N1 is still out there, and still hurting and killing kids.

5) A bunch of kids got pretty sick after vaccinations in Australia. It’s unclear what happened, and officials are investigating it.

6) The good news? At least for Finland, it’s good: 97% of kids there are vaccinated. For everything. Amazing.

Tip o’ the needle to Antti Säämänen, Doug Troy, William Mount, and Greg Stitz.

Help a kid with leukemia… and help many, many more

Heather Steingruebl is a BABloggee. She contacted me and told me some chilling news: her daughter Elise was recently diagnosed with leukemia. She’s being treated, and I know we all hope things go well for her.

But in the meantime, this makes Elise susceptible to many preventable diseases. We need people to get vaccinated! As Heather says,

Vaccinate. Elise and thousands of kids like her are counting on not dying from things like measles and whooping cough while they fight cancer. Unless it’s a specific health risk to you or your child, just vaccinate. Please.

She also implores people to get on the bone marrow donation registry. Search around online for information on how to do this. I plan on doing this myself.

My heart goes out to her and her family, as it does to anyone affected by this awful illness. I’m going to find out what booster shots I need, because I take this issue very seriously. I hope you do too.

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